A Panama native nicknamed "Mo," who endeared himself to New Yorkers with a cut fastball that baffled baseball's finest sluggers, is faced with the prospect of an unceremonious end to his illustrious 18-year career.
I am a big-time news junkie but there are days in which I don't turn on the television because I don't want to find out who's next.
LZ Granderson says we're living in a new America; one without gods, role models or heroes.
CNN's Mary Snow visits the neighborhood where Jerry Sandusky lives and talks to neighbors.
Victims of child sexual abuse woke up Thursday morning to television broadcasts of angry and violent Penn State students rioting because football coach Joe Paterno had been fired - effectively immediately.
If the thought of Jim Thome's 600th career home run triggers milestone fatigue, you're not alone. Before 2002, when Barry Bonds joined the club, just three men had hit 600 regular-season home runs in the major leagues. Now, on Monday, Thome became the fourth to reach that mark in the last five seasons, following Sammy Sosa in 2007, Ken Griffey Jr. in 2008, and Alex Rodriguez last year. There is no question that the onslaught on the alltime home run list by the sluggers of Thome's generation has undermined the impact of those gaudy career totals, but to dismiss Thome's accomplishment because of the four men that preceded him to 600 home runs, three of whom have been connected to performance-enhancing drugs, is to unfairly diminish the legacy of one of the game's greatest sluggers.
Baseball stories in the SI Vault
Harmon Killebrew, who passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 74 after a battle with esophageal cancer, was one of the greatest home run hitters in baseball history, a fact that has been somewhat obscured by the power surge of the last two decades. Before Mark McGwire passed him in 2001, Killebrew ranked fifth all-time with 573 career home runs, and of the four players ahead of him at that time, only Babe Ruth had homered more often than Killebrew's once every 17.2 plate appearances. McGwire was the first of six players to pass Killebrew's career total in the last decade, but Killebrew's eight 40-homer seasons, a total since tied by Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez, remain second only to Ruth's 11.
When space shuttle Endeavour blasts off Monday on its final journey, I'll be thinking about the shuttle's three remarkable decades of service.
MLB Preview stories in the SI Vault
Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday at 79. But suppose she had died in 1960? She could have. You could look it up. She was suffering from pneumonia that year after starting filming on "Cleopatra." It was serious enough for her to have been declared dead.
Duke Snider, the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer who passed away on Sunday, will forever be remembered as part of New York's great center field triumvirate of the 1950s along with the Giants' Willie Mays and the Yankees' Mickey Mantle.
Atlanta Braves stories in the SI Vault
Walking along the New York street known as Central Park South the other afternoon, I passed a restaurant that seems to have been busy every time I have visited the city for decades.
On September 4 at Target Field, the Twins' Delmon Young lifted a third inning flyball that Rangers centerfielder Josh Hamilton tracked back to the wall over his right shoulder. Upon hitting the warning track, Hamilton leaped, caught the ball, and slammed his left side into the padded centerfield wall. Hamilton grounded out in the top of the fourth, then, after playing the field in the bottom of that inning, was replaced in the field in the bottom of the fifth. He didn't play again until October 1.
This article is adapted from "The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood" by Jane Leavy. Reprinted by permission of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Related galleries for the October 11, 2010 issue
Mickey Mantle stories in the SI Vault
There is no surefire ticket to Cooperstown quite like the Triple Crown, as each of the 11 men to accomplish the offensive feat since 1900 has been enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Just another night in the life of the best player in baseball went something like this, at least as far as last Friday the 13th:
As hard as this is for many to imagine, back in the 1980s the New York Yankees were one of the most pathetic franchises in professional sports.
Lou Breslow called me out of the blue. I was then -- this was, say, 1980 -- a young sportswriter in Los Angeles and I must have written something he found simpatico. He suggested we collaborate on a sports-themed screenplay. As I said, this was Los Angeles and I was newly-arrived from the Ohio hinterlands. In other words, this struck me as the most natural development in the world.
A reasonable person would assume that a man born and raised in New York City, with a blood connection to All-Star third baseman Red Rolfe of the great Yankees teams of the 1930s and early '40s, would be a devoted fan of the Bronx Bombers.
Don't worry, even though this is built off the whole sleeping saga, this is actually a celebration of Ken Griffey Jr. First, though, we have to start off with a pretty negative point: Ken Griffey has been a below-average player for quite some time now. You know that WAR (Wins Above Replacement) measures a player's value against a generic replacement player, the sort of player that you should be able to find in Triple-A. A well-below average big-league player.
NEW YORK -- This past weekend at Citi Field, a pair of rookies, one the most talked about prospect in the game, the other a recent call-up who has already been causing a stir in his first week, crossed paths for the first time on a major league field. In a season that is looking like it will be the Year of the Phenom, both Ike Davis of the Mets and Jason Heyward of the Braves have been turning heads and earning rave reviews from their managers not only for how they play but also for how they handle themselves.
Sen. Jim Bunning was called one of the nation's five worst U.S. senators by Time magazine in 2006 and as a baseball player became one of the few pitchers to anger Mickey Mantle enough to make him charge the mound.
Fill in answers as in a crossword -- except the answers are numbers. For rows or columns with multiple clues, enter answers consecutively. The sum will equal the red total at the end of each row/column.
There is a very short list of players in baseball history who over long careers hit .300, own an on-base percentage of .400 and slug .500. There are more complete ways to judge a player's hitting talents, of course, but there's something beautifully well-rounded about the .300/.400/.500 hitter. He hits. He walks. He pounds the ball.
These are 23 (more) facts, tried and true, about the widening world of sports television:
We've all been there: a week until payday, the rent is due, and you're rummaging in your parents' attic to find Dad's Mickey Mantle rookie card.
What does the perfect power hitter look like? Does he have Babe Ruth's legs, Hank Aaron's wrists, Mickey Mantle's arms or Ted Williams' mind? Does the perfect strikeout artist have Greg Maddux's brain, Walter Johnson's fastball, Sandy Koufax's curve or Pedro Martinez's changeup? Does the slickest-fielding shortstop have Ozzie Smith's legs, Cal Ripken's build or Shawon Dunston's arm?
To anyone who would ask if he tried to hit home runs when he went to bat, Mickey Mantle would always laugh and say, "Every time." To his managers and teammates, such a simplistic approach could be infuriating when a simple base hit would suffice and Mantle would be headed back to the dugout with one of his 1,713 career strikeouts after trying to hit the ball out of the park. But for those blessed with the ability to hit a baseball to the heavens, to make it shrink so fast it appears to be headed into orbit, why waste time with such trivialities when you can just grip-it-and-rip it.
The Ilikai Hotel, which was made famous by the TV show "Hawaii Five-0," could soon reopen its doors after the company that recently bought the Waikiki landmark shut it down last week.
These lists are not mere compilations of all-time bests in their respective sports but all-time bests at quickening the pulse and evoking a visceral response from those fortunate enough to have witnessed their artistry.
After a one-week vacation, we are back with the continuing evolution of an experiment that last appeared two weeks ago: a combination column with Boston Red Sox senior advisor and baseball writer extraordinaire Bill James ...
There is never a time -- never a time -- when I look at Sammy Sosa's page on Baseball-Reference.com and do not come away with a shock. Sure, I know this stuff. I KNOW Sosa beat Roger Maris' famed 61-homers-in-a-season three times in his career (as many as Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds combined). Three times.
The following is the continuing evolution of an experiment that we tried a couple weeks ago -- and the launch of a new weekly column on SI.com. It's a combination column with Boston Red Sox senior advisor and baseball writer extraordinaire Bill James. For a few years now, Bill and I have exchanged e-mails about everything from sports to politics to religion to crime to the qualities of Marlon Brando as an actor (Bill thinks he's overrated). So we have talked about bringing those e-mails to the stage. This is not a pure e-mail exchange ... it is rewritten to come out as a column. Anyway, we hope so...
I was watching the A's the other night, and Jack Cust came to the plate. I love Jack Cust. Who doesn't? So, like anyone would, I spent a bit of time contemplating Jack Cust. I looked up his statistics, and here's what struck me:
iReporter John Krix began selling his family's violins when economic times got rough.
Jim Vincent loved everything about his 1972 Plymouth 'Cuda. The purr of its V8 engine. The way the sun danced off it after a spit-shine wax. Whenever he revved the engine, he also thought about his father, who first brought home one of the muscle cars more than 30 years ago.
Someone who knows Alex Rodriguez pretty well once told me that the key to understanding A-Rod is to simply remember, at all times, that the guy wants to be loved. Maybe that's obvious. Maybe that's the thing that drives most (all?) successful people. Maybe that's why Bruce Springsteen plays the Super Bowl. Maybe that's why Brett Favre comes back for one more year. There's that classic exchange from Citizen Kane between Mr. Thompson, the guy trying to chase down what Rosebud meant, and Jedediah Leland, Charlie Kane's old friend.
Here it is ... your 2009 overly long, absurdly obsessive, Hall of Fame recap.
One knock you hear all the time about certain Hall of Fame candidates is that they were just good players who assembled impressive career numbers simply by sticking around for a long time. I have always thought that undersells longevity, the ability to stay healthy, the ability to grow old gracefully, which is probably the most underrated talent in the business.
Baseball scouts found Hank Aaron hitting cross-handed in Mobile, Alabama. They found Mickey Mantle outrunning the wind in northeast Oklahoma. They even found a former drug addict and felon turned outfielder, Ron LeFlore, in a Michigan state prison.
Microphone in hand, Derek Jeter addressed the 54,610 fans who came to say so long to Yankee Stadium, his words booming around the old ballpark
I'll never forget my first day in The House that Ruth Built: April 9, 1962, the day before opening day. I made the team that spring as a non-roster player, having pitched in the Texas League (AA) the year before. And I had just turned 23.
Walkoffs, Last Licks and Final Outs: Baseball's Grand (and no-so-grand) Finales is a new book co-authored by Bill Chuck and former Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jim Kaplan that takes a look at the stories behind some of the most memorable and bizarre occurrences in baseball history. To order the book, go to actasports.com.
Among the topics in this edition of Diamond Digits are a salute to an alltime great home run hitter, a player nobody can catch and a catcher nobody can recognize.
When Babe Ruth hit home run No. 60 on Sept. 30, 1927, he was wearing, well, nothing on his back. Jersey numbers became common after the Depression, and the Yankees didn't officially decide to wear them until Opening Day 1929.
Last week SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed author John Grisham for the magazine's Q&A. The author's latest novel, Playing for Pizza, is about an ex-NFL QB on a team in Italy. Here are additional excerpts from their conversation:
In sports, there's only one No. 99 (Wayne Gretzky) and No. 66 (Mario Lemieux), but who's number one among those who have actually worn No. 1? Is it 12-time NBA All-Star Oscar Robertson or is it Warren Moon, the only player to be enshrined by both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame? Oh, and what about Sadaharu Oh? The Japanese home run king wore 1 as well. Then there are those uniform numbers that lack star quality. Quick, who's the best player to wear No. 69? You'll need some time on that unless you're a Tim Krumrie fan. A number -- be it on a jersey, the side of a car, or a saddlecloth -- often becomes one with the athlete. Or zero with the athlete, as in the case of Agent Zero, Gilbert Arenas, the star guard for the Washington Wizards who chose his number upon attending the University of Arizona because zero was the number of minutes that many observers expected him to play.
OK, let's get right into it. Hudson from San Francisco would like my take on the Imus situation. Fine. Here it is:
Much as we might like baseball's steroids scandal to just shrivel up and blow away -- Run for the hills, everybody! Another steroids story! -- we ought to know by now that it's just not going to happen.
Derek Jeter's bat isn't all that different than the ones used by Yankees legends Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth. There have been cosmetic changes over the years, but when you get right down to it, it's still a piece of wood.
Once a year, baseball-card collectors gather for the granddaddy of all sports collectible conventions - the National Sports Collectors Convention.
What do Mickey Mantle, Bazooka Joe and Martha Stewart have in common?
there's some good stuff here and it's well written, but i got more than halfway in and still had no idea about their longer-term financial track record. (other than that sales are volatile sales and they're profitable, which I had to assume since they have a P/E, 4th graf). is it feast or famine with them, which it sort of seems to be? or has there been steady growth interrupted by hot years and some lean years? etc... a better sense of this up top would help.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude's free art display "The Gates" far surpassed expectations, attracting an estimated 4 million visitors to Central Park and generating $254 million for New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday.
The bat Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium sold for nearly $1.3 million at auction Thursday -- above its presale estimate but well below the $3 million record for sports memorabilia for Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball in 1998.
Talk about striking out.
SI.com's John Donovan listed his favorite All-Star Game moments. Here are some of your responses:
Your valuables are less vulnerable in either a safe or a safe-deposit box than they are in your jewelry box or filing cabinet. That said, certain things are best stowed away in one or the other.
It's a blood-borne disease, transmitted through transfusions, sex, and shared needles. And it's a silent disease; people can go years before developing any symptoms.
When Paul Mullan went off to college in the early Sixties, his mother -- like moms everywhere -- threw away his baseball-card collection. But unlike most boys, Mullan, 45, didn't get cards out of h...
Interest in baseball cards has exploded in the U.S. since the late 1970s. Hobbyists, investors and speculators -- not to mention bubble-gum-chewing young fans -- will buy more than 5 billion new an...
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